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Rep. Steve King: Gays Shouldn’t Wear Their Sexuality ‘On Their Sleeve’

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"Rep. Steve King: Gays Shouldn’t Wear Their Sexuality ‘On Their Sleeve’"

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Over at Good As You, Jeremy Hooper catches Rep. Steve King (R-IA) saying that employers only discriminate against gay and lesbian people because “they wear their sexuality on their sleeve.”

During a conversation with Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), King re-called a story of how his colleague State Senator Jerry Behn would tempt gay activists to guess his sexual orientation to prove that one can’t easily identify orientation, all the while cracking a joke that Behn was obviously straight:

KING: And he said, ‘let me ask you a question.’ ‘Am I heterosexual or am I homosexual?’ And they looked him up and down, actually they should have know, but they said, ‘we don’t know.’ And he said, ‘exactly, my point. If you don’t project it, if you don’t advertise it, how would anyone know to discriminate against you?’ And that’s at the basis of this. So if people wear their sexuality on their sleeve and then they want to bring litigation against someone that they would point their finger at and say ‘ you discriminate.‘ …This is the homosexual lobby taking it out on the rest of society and they are demanding affirmation for their lifestyle, that’s at the bottom of this.

Listen:

Of course, far from affirming “their lifestyle,” as King calls it, ENDA would simply prohibit public and private employers from using an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity “as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion or compensation.” As Hooper put it, “What the far-right refuses to admit is that ENDA protects everyone, not just LGBT people! Everyone has a sexual orientation. Everyone has a gender identity. Every employer, including LGBT ones, have the capacity to unfairly discriminate on the basis of gender/sexuality. So therefore, everyone benefits from a world where education and training and experience and viewpoints (which very well might include contrasting ideas about work related to causes, even LGBT/anti-LGBT ones) and merit are the qualities of job consideration.”

Iowa is one of 12 states that already protects its citizens from “discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and education” on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, physical disability, mental disability, retaliation, age , familial status, or marital status.

Transcript:

KING: Well Tony, I can imagine someone coming in and interviewing one day in man’s clothes and come back and interview for a job in women’s clothes and then setting up a lawsuit — a sting operation that can harass, especially our religious organizations, but anybody, anybody who is operating in a responsible fashion. You know, I just go back to this incident that took place when I was in the Iowa Senate. The gay activists would come and lobby about once a year, and senator Jerry Behn, he sat next to me for year. And he had four or five students and the University of Iowa lobbying him to provide special protected status for sexual orientation, gender identity, the Iowa ENDA Act, they were trying to pass. And he said, ‘let me ask you a question.’ ‘Am I heterosexual or am I homosexual?’ And they looked him up and down, actually they should have know, but they said, ‘we don’t know.’ And he said, ‘exactly, my point. If you don’t project it, if you don’t advertise it, how would anyone know to discriminate against you?’ And that’s at the basis of this. So if people wear their sexuality on their sleeve and then they want to bring litigation against someone that they would point their finger at and say ‘ you discriminate.’ It is an entrapment that is legalized by the ENDA Act, it appears to. And it’s a violation of individual rights of employers to, at their own discretion, decide who they want to hire, who they want to fire…This is the homosexual lobby taking it out on the rest of society and they are demanding affirmation for their lifestyle, that’s at the bottom of this.

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